About Jason Short

Who is this guy?

My name is Jason Short and I currently work for Microsoft. Before joining Microsoft I ran a small company called VistaDB.  This blog still has some remnants of when I was the owner of VistaDB, but is now about my continuing adventures.

If I were to summarize myself it would be as a life long geek.  I love technology, I love software, and software engineering. 

Some kind of Expert?

I do have a PhD in Computer Science, but I do not consider myself an expert in everything computer science related. I am constantly learning and changing. Every year I look back and think about how much more I have learned, and wonder where my coding and design will be in another year. You will often hear me repeat the phrase that I don’t know the answer, but can find out.

I have been exposed to several new technologies since joining Microsoft.  I had never done any serious programming in Silverlight until I did it at work.  I have also now had the chance to build an actual live service for SQL Azure using worker roles, queues, tables, and much more. 

Since acquiring my Windows Phone 7 I have begun to learn a lot more about Silverlight.  And of course that is now being extended into XAML/C# with Windows 8 Desktop apps (we just won’t call it Silverlight anymore).

I think that working in software is a continual journey to adapt to new paradigms, new technologies, and new methodologies.  I hope that I can continue to adapt, adjust, and communicate just as I learned in the military so long ago.

Written much code?

I started programming when I was around 7 years old on a Commodore VIC-20 my mother bought for her college classes at the time. I used to type in BASIC programs from Compute’s Gazette and spend hours trying to figure out why they didn’t work. At age 11 I was published in a magazine for a small game about catching Bumble Bees (it was a much simpler era for games too!). During my High School years when most kids were working summer jobs cutting grass, I wrote a BBS system for the Amiga and sold it as shareware. I made a lot of money (for a teenager) selling that BBS software and multi user BBS games I wrote to amuse my friends.

I have been programming professionally for 20+ years. I started writing code on a 6502, and have covered just about every processor built by Intel since about 1989.  Windows and Microsoft have been a constant throughout my programming career. I wrote a resolution independent graphics application for 16/32 bit DOS that also had SGI, Intel 960 and HP/UX rendering paths.  Games for Windows 95/98 and Direct X.  A complete cartoon drawing and rendering system for Windows NT on DEC Alpha, Mips, and Intel.  Some of my proudest code still runs today in theme parks around the world on PC-104 embedded Linux machines.

I thoroughly enjoy the programming process, but not always the constant rate of change.   I think sometimes about other professions and wonder how many doctors we would have if humans grew a new organ every 12-18 months, and totally overhauled their digestive system twice a decade.  We in software have to adapt to constant change. 

Data is a constant theme

I think all of the things I have built over my career had one thing in common – data storage needs that were always growing.  It was this constant data growth that originally drove me to want to build my own data storage engine. I had started building a special purpose data indexing and storage system for the spam and web filtration systems.  Today I doubt very many companies would ever consider doing such a thing.  There are just too many data storage abilities today.

The one thing I see as a huge change is that data portability is much more important.  Everyone wants a way to move their data, and get to it from every type of device.  Much of what I see in the data space today around NO SQL is really a statement about moving data to where it is needed for consumption.

Where am I today?

This blog is now my personal documentation of my software journey.  I plan to continue writing about databases, programming, .Net, and SQL in general.  I will also be writing about Windows Phone and Windows 8 Store development.

I currently work for Microsoft as a Developer Evangelist representing Windows Azure related technologies. I am currently working with large ISVs to move applications to the cloud. I previously worked for two years in SQL Server building software, services and portals. I am still trying to find my ideal place within this huge company.  The opportunities are huge, and Microsoft innovates much more than people give them credit for in the press.

Even though I have been writing C# and SQL code since 2001 I am very closely watching the emergence of HTML 5 and Javascript as a powerhouse duo.  I think in many ways it is fulfilling the promise of both Java and Silverlight.  I have never been a fan of dynamic languages, but I am opening my perspective a bit and researching them more.  New projects like Node.js and jQuery have made me curious enough to spend some time looking.  I also want to look into functional programming languages like F# just to round out my vocabulary.

My Current Information

I am now over 40 (gasp), am happily married to my wife of 15+ years, and have two fantastic girls. I live in the greater Seattle Washington area known as the Pugent Sound.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, Twitter and just about anywhere dot net programming, or data structures can be found. You can also find my Infinite Codex Windows Phone Apps in the marketplace.